Baseball scores big winThe Raider baseball team kicked off its Big Rivers Conference season in style by knocking off eighth-ranked Chippewa Falls, 4-2, last Friday in Chippewa Falls.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
The Raider baseball team kicked off its Big Rivers Conference season in style by knocking off eighth-ranked Chippewa Falls, 4-2, last Friday, April 15 in Chippewa Falls.
The Cardinals sent their ace, NCAA Division I bound Justin Janquish, to the mound but it was Hudson junior Brett Steinwagner who stole the spotlight, working out of some jams in the opening innings before settling down and holding the Cardinals to just three hits and no runs over the final four frames.
Hudson’s offense took advantage of Steinwagner’s complete-game effort by scoring a pair of runs in the top of the seventh to snap a 2-2 tie. Steinwagner retired the Cardinals in order in the bottom of the seventh to seal the win.
“This was a very good win for the program and a good win versus a very good pitcher and team,” Raider head coach Ryan Huppert said about Janquish, who will play at UW-Milwaukee next season, and the Cardinals. “Chippewa is one of the conference favorites this year, so to pick up a win on the road against them is a great start to conference play.”
The Raiders staked Steinwagner to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first before the Cardinals scored a run in the bottom of the first and an unearned run in the third to tie the score.
Janquish retired 15 straight Raiders between the second and sixth innings before Kellen Pearson gave the Raiders their first baserunner since the first inning by drawing a leadoff walk in the seventh.
Matt Strachota bunted Pearson to second and Steinwagner followed with a base hit on a swinging bunt to put runners on first and third with one out. Pearson scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball, and after Janquish got a strikeout for the second out of the inning, Miles Lewis drilled a single up the middle to score Steinwagner from second and make the score 4-2.
Steinwagner struck out two batters while retiring the Cardinals in order in the bottom of the seventh to wrap up his complete-game victory.
Steinwagner allowed seven hits, but just three in the final four innings, while striking out five and walking four.
“Brett battled and pitched very well for us today,” Huppert said. “He stayed composed and strong in the early innings, getting out of a few jams, and then just kept getting better as the game progressed.”
Hudson scored their first two runs of the game on a two-out, two-run single by Strachota in the first inning. Strachota, Lewis, Steinwagner and Derek Krumrei had the only Raider hits.
Last Tuesday the Raiders dropped a 10-7 decision to East Ridge. Pearson had two hits and two RBI in the loss and Austin Lenzen had a double, triple and RBI while Mike Hommes tripled in a run and Drew Pheneger had a pinch-hit two-run single in the seventh for his first varsity hit and RBI. Steinwagner also had two hits and scored once.
John Stoffer took the loss on the mound, allowing four earned runs on five hits while striking out one and walking none over the first four innings. Pearson worked 2 1/3 innings and allowed five earned runs while Parker McNamee pitched the final two-thirds of inning.
The Raiders were slated to travel to Eau Claire Memorial Tuesday, April 19 and will host Menomonie in a doubleheader Thursday, April 21 beginning at 3:30 p.m. at Grandview Park.